Despite the fact that online mapping service Waze has been all up in the news lately for flirting with several suitors, the announcement that Google has emerged triumphant after a short courtship is barely a surprise. It’s like the new girl at school being polite and talking to the various guys trying to make a great first impression, until the quarterback walks in and everyone knows it’s all over. Google just always seems to get the girl.
In this case, the girl could provide Google with a technological boost that may help its maps and navigation system become more accurate and useful. Google Maps is already popular and this acquisition is likely another way for it to move deeper into the hearts and minds of social-minded users.
The Associated Press indicates Facebook and Apple as two of Google’s defeated rivals in the bidding for Waze. And while there are no firm reports of how much Waze was acquired for, rumors have the selling price between $1.1 billion and $1.3 billion
That puts Waze up there with Google’s other expensive girlfriends, at fourth place out of more than 240 deals it’s pulled off in 15 years.
Google said in a blog post today that the deal has already closed, it’s done, fin — which shows that perhaps the government had no objections to the takeover. No other acquisitions have been blocked by regulators either, so again, this isn’t a huge surprise.
Waze is relatively new on the scene, with five years in the business and around 100 employees.
“We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities,” Brian McClendon, a Google vice president who oversees maps, wrote in the company’s blog post.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Google Maps gets a lot more share-y, which could be good or bad depending on how much you love telling everyone how to get to Grandma’s house (over the river, through the woods, stop at 7-Eleven for slushies). It could get a lot more local information like weather and traffic conditions involved, however, something that will likely provide useful for users seeking the most detailed stats on where they’re headed.
Google snaps up Waze to add to mapping service [Associated Press]